JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD On Metal Community: 'There's Nothing Better Than Having Us All Together In The Same Venue'

April 1, 2024

In a new interview with The Sound Lab, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about the heavy metal community, which he has previously described as "all-inclusive, no matter what your sexual identity is, what you look like or what you believe in or don't believe in." He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Everything that we love and cherish about PRIEST is driven by our worldwide heavy metal community. There's nothing better than having us all together in the same venue. Just look at each other and you just know that love and that passion that we share is a real experience, a real living thing. We're very proud to have been a part of that development. I've been calling us the heavy metal community for as long as I can remember. And we're just so strong and we're so proud and we love our metal. And that's what makes us unique."

Two months ago, Halford was asked by the "Loudwire Nights" radio show if he thinks the heavy metal community is as "welcoming" in 2024 as it has been in recent decades, Halford said: "Those things that you're talking about in terms of complete inclusivity, that's what I love about our metal community, that regardless of the bands that you're into, regardless of what you look like, who you love, whatever, how much money you've got, whatever, it doesn't matter. We look at each other and we embrace each other, because we love heavy metal.

"I was just reading something again the other day about the importance of this particular style and sound of music," he continued. "The importance reaches way further than the music does. It's a very, very important component within us if you're a metalhead, if you're a metal fan. It has all of the attributes for getting into a better mental state. It makes articulation work stronger in all elements of your life. Metal is a very, very powerful part of who we are as people. So if you wanna go deep, but I do go deep — that's what it does, man. And so when I say I love my metal maniacs, I mean that really sincerely and very purely. I think about them all the time, because… 'Family' is a big word to use, but that's what we create — we create this family of this heavy metal community. Regardless of your band, there's a special relationship with every single fan."

Halford added: "When I look out in a crowd of thousands of people, I'm looking at every single one of you, because I know that you've taken this band's music into your life. For a lot of PRIEST metal fans, the story of your life is in music. I'm not saying that properly, but do you know what I'm trying to say? If you've been with this band for the longest time and we play 'Breaking The Law', suddenly we've gone back into the '80s, we play 'Painkiller', suddenly we're back in the '90s. This time machine of emotions in your life is with you as a fan. And again, that's not lost on me. I really take it very, very personally, and so that responsibility of caring for your fans and looking after your fans is really important, no matter what band you're in."

JUDAS PRIEST's new studio album, "Invincible Shield", arrived on March 8 via Sony Music.

"Invincible Shield" entered the U.K. chart at No. 2, just behind Ariana Grande's "Eternal Sunshine".

Prior to "Invincible Shield"'s arrival, PRIEST's highest U.K. chart achievement was with 1980's "British Steel", which reached No. 4.

PRIEST's 2018 album "Firepower" entered the chart at No. 5.

"Invincible Shield" is JUDAS PRIEST's fifth Top 10 album, after the aforementioned "British Steel" and "Firepower", as well as 2014's "Redeemer Of Souls" (No. 6) and the 1979 live album "Unleashed In The East" (No. 10).

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